Shopping in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a must during a stay in Milan, a nineteenth-century covered walk that represents one of the iconic places of the Lombard capital, among colourful mosaics, windows and balconies embellished with wonderful decorations.
The Galleria, as it is more simply called by the Milanese, is the city's good living room, the ancient meeting place of the bourgeoisie and is considered by many to be one of the first examples of a shopping centre in the world. In 1863, the first project aimed at creating a covered commercial street consisting of a single span. It was later modified in favour of the cross plan that characterises the current structure. The end of the construction works dates back to 1878: since then, the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery has become the main Milanese destination for those who love shopping, a place with a timeless charm where it is still possible to find historic boutiques and the most famous high fashion brands shops.
The Milan Gallery is one of the most renowned examples of late 19th century architecture as well as a living expression of Lombard flair, a combination of iron and glass for the construction of which innovative applications of the time were used. Among these we must note the gas lighting, which was activated with an ingenious system called "rattin", mouse in Milanese dialect, which transformed the evening lighting of the Gallery into a cult moment that lasted until 1883, the year in which Milan switched to electric lighting.
What to do in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Today the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which connects two symbolic places of Milan like the Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala, represents a unique opportunity to discover the most authentic heart of the social and artistic life of this city, among high fashion boutiques, starred restaurants where you can taste some of the classic dishes of local cuisine and historic bars such as the renowned Camparino in Galleria, which has been the symbol of the classic Milanese aperitif since 1915.
Walking through the shops and bars you can also discover an ancient tradition, which has become a superstitious gesture, practised by visitors from all over the world: it consists in rotating three times with the heel of the right foot on the genitals of a bull portrayed on the mosaic of the floor below the central dome. The gesture, initially performed as a mockery of the city of Turin, in whose coat of arms there is a golden bull, is repeated every day by thousands of people in search of good luck.
Book a flight to Milan with Air Dolomiti and get ready to go shopping inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a unique place that tells the history and customs of the Italian city.